Trinity College

Meet Lisa Costa, the busy wife and mother of 10th grade Trinity student Harry, TC 2017 graduate, Joseph and 18-year-old daughter Amelie. months, an initial feeling is brought down to lead a busy lifestyle. There is no history of breast cancer in Lisa’s family, she continued, but on New Year’s Day 2020 during a family vacation in Bali, that changed when she woke up feeling bloated. Immediately she knew something was wrong. Lisa’s mind went back to early 2019 when she received a reminder in the mail for a mammogram, 10 days before traveling with her family to Europe for a six-week holiday. With no family history, the reminder message has been pushed aside – a decision that leaves Lisa now asking herself “what did I do?” Not long after Lisa and her family returned to Perth, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Still feeling that this could be avoided, it was here that she was shown her mammogram – a very clear mammogram. “I remember them telling me, Lisa, we don’t want you to start your journey with a negative outcome because you will need all the energy and positivity for what lies ahead.” It was these words that gave Lisa the reassurance she needed to know that there was nothing she could do to avoid the diagnosis. After her diagnosis, Lisa immediately told her husband with her attention turning to the children and how would she share this with them? “You worry how they will cope, and the fear associated with the word cancer. I don’t want them to be scared, because it’s a word that can mean many things, there are so many different journeys and endings but for our family, unfortunately, it’s just a sad ending. . “Two things we wanted to tell them, one, I have a good prognosis, and two, even though it’s just one word, there are millions of different types and a million different outcomes. “We also pledged that they would get all the information first because we don’t want them to eavesdrop on conversations.” Lisa clearly remembers their reaction, initially a shock but then a tidal wave of love that engulfed them all and to this day, Lisa says has helped them through it all. Goodbye hair Before Lisa’s first treatment, the oncologist advised her to cut her hair because the treatment could leave a fragile feeling and could be aggravated if she started to lose her hair. Lisa decided to go with her advice and what followed was overwhelming family and community support. Within hours of Lisa’s decision, both her sons and many of their Trinity friends also decided to shave their heads in support of Lisa. “On shave day, we were all locked in, so we all set up our iPads so we could all come together on Zoom to do our best version of shaving. . “The next day, I received random messages from people I usually work with, families from Harry’s long-legged club, and other friends who all shaved their heads in support of them. household. I couldn’t believe the level of love shown in the community. ” Meet Michelle Although both mothers of Trinity, with boys from the same group of five, Michelle and Lisa have only crossed the street a handful of times, but there’s something about Lisa’s journey that struck a chord with Michelle and she decided I’m going to contact Lisa to see how she’s doing. walking. The friendship between the two women immediately begins, but what they didn’t know at the time was that Michelle was also about to receive sad news of her own, news that would soon form an unbreakable bond. A devastating diagnosis In July 2020, after a few months of feeling unwell, Michelle was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Unlike Lisa, Michelle’s family has a history of the disease, after her sister was diagnosed at the age of 22. “I remember walking out after receiving the diagnosis and I burst into tears. “I needed surgery to remove my tumor and lymph nodes, but I just remember thinking about my kids and how I’m going to tell them.” As a mother and stepmother to three girls and son Dylon in 10th grade at Trinity, Michelle knows that being open and honest with them is important. “For me, it was never about how strong I would become, or what would happen to me. I am more worried about the children and the effects this will have on them. After telling the children, Michelle recalled how the Trinity community had embraced her, Dylon, and their family. “Dylon’s head of year, PCG teachers and the entire Trinity community are amazing. I was lucky enough to have them rally around Dylon and myself. Not long after Michelle’s surgery, she felt her body change as the radiation therapy brought a constant sense of fatigue. “I can’t do the things I usually do in the same way. You feel like you have to move on but you just can’t. Every day is a struggle.” Raise awareness through Pink Socks A day like Pink Sock Day now means more to Michelle and Lisa and their sons Harry and Dylon. “It’s really important and that’s what Trinity has done so well. They empower young men to empower and support women, whether it’s their mother, their sister, their aunt. You never know what someone is going through and guys aren’t always the best at expressing emotions, so a day like Pink Sock Day is a great day for them to show support. own in a different way. “It’s lovely to see the boys out there with their pink socks. They’re out there and I think they feel pretty proud. They are truly men for others and this is the message I received from them throughout my cancer journey,” Michelle shared. “Over the years, I have loved Pink Sock Day for the awareness it brings. There are so many families going through this and it means so much to them. “I am fortunate to have such a broad support network and care from breast cancer nurses and I think there may be people who could have gone through this journey without that care. really terrible. This is why it’s so important to support things like Pink Sock Day and the McGrath Foundation,” explains Lisa. Now go? Both Lisa and Michelle are still on their way to recovery with both women still being closely monitored. What they both acknowledge is how lucky they are to have found each other through the Trinity community and how important it is to share these stories to help others cope with their own journeys. . “It can be difficult for a child to hear their mother’s diagnosis and have fear of the unknown and wonder if their mother is okay, but we hope they can look at Harry and Dylon and see that they is fine and for many people. it’s not a journey we want to take, but if you are given the tools, family, friends and support, you can get through this. ” SHOW YOUR SUPPORT In 2016, Trinity 12th grader Locie Taylor proposed holding a round of PSA Pink Sock. This day will involve all the No. 1 sports teams representing Trinity wearing pink socks during a round in June to support women’s health and to thank all mothers and women. of Trinity, who encourage boys through school and life in general. The day will also help raise some much needed funds for the McGrath Foundation to support women with breast cancer alongside Lochie, and hopefully it will educate young Trinity men to show awareness and appreciation higher prices for the work their mothers undertake. Now in its sixth year, Lochie’s legacy continues and Trinity sports teams will be wearing pink socks again when they line up against Aquinas College on Saturday, June 12 at Trinity Playing Fields in Waterford. support (it is better to wear a little pink). Give gold coins upon entry. For those unable to come down to support the boys, please show your support by donating to our fundraiser here. All proceeds will go directly to the McGrath Foundation to help other women like Lisa and Michelle with breast cancer.

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